Part 5: Triangle, The Alchemist's Illusions

Chapter 43: Personal Attack

Linza and Wyn sat across from each other at the table in Wyn’s dining nook.

Wyn looked through the notebook and quirked an eyebrow at Linza. “You were certainly… thorough.”

Linza bit her lip. “They’re so different, it’s like… how do you choose between steak and strawberry cake? It barely even makes sense as a question…”

“Well, maybe you just need to—what do you call it, ‘increase your sample size’? See if that helps you figure it out.” Wyn waggled her eyebrows suggestively.

Linza put her head in her hands. “I think they might be mutually exclusive. I can’t just walk up to each of them and say, ‘hey, I’m gonna fuck each of you as an experiment, try to pretend this isn’t an interview!’”

“Why not?” Wyn said.

Linza groaned. She wasn’t in the mood for Wyn’s teasing.

“No, I mean it,” Wyn insisted. “Why not?”

“You’re serious?!”

“Yeah.”

“B-Because— I just, I can’t! That’s too… too…”

“Too cold?”

It was something like what Linza had said about Wyn when they’d agreed to end the ‘relationship’ part of their relationship.

Linza blushed. “I just, it’s not… it’s not me. I don’t think I could even really enjoy it with either of them, not knowing… if… I don’t know.”

Wyn chuckled. “That is where you and I differ, my friend. I’m getting second-hand hot-and-bothered just thinking about two lovely suitors vying for my attention.”

Linza buried her face in her hands. “It’s so embarrassing!”

“Why?”

“I don’t know.”

“Nuh uh, you’re answering me. You did this to me before and I’m doing it to you, now. Why do you feel embarrassed?”

Linza couldn’t argue with that. She was usually the one cajoling Wyn into introspection. She’d just have to deal with the taste of her own medicine. “Because I’m ashamed.”

“What’s there to be ashamed of?”

“I can’t believe either of them would actually love me and I’m scared that when they figure it out, I won’t be friends with either of them.” Linza’s voice caught in a ball of tears. She held her breath.

“Aw, c’mon, Linz.” Wyn scooted around the table and hugged her. “You’ve cried in front of me plenty of times. Just let it happen.”

Linza sniffled. “H-how stupid am I if I’m crying because two people like me?”

“Would you call me stupid?”

“No!”

“So don’t call yourself stupid.”

And so Linza relented. She was so tired of thinking that she just let herself cry, and feel the feeling of crying, Wyn’s shoulder against her cheek. And finally, she stilled.

Wyn handed Linza a handkerchief and Linza attempted to return to a semi-decent state.

“Linza, you are basically the easiest-to-like person I’ve ever met,” Wyn said.

Linza snuffled. “That’s just because—”

Wyn leveled a scolding finger at her. “Don’t you dare.”

Linza pouted. Then she cracked a smile.

Wyn put her hand to her hip. “Don’t you think that if you were some fundamentally unlovable person, I’d have kicked you to the curb ages ago? You know I don’t fuck with bullshit.”

Linza chuckled. “I do know that.”

“See, you call me brash,” she said as she tapped the side of her nose with her finger, “but doesn’t that make you all the more confident that I actually like you? It’s you I have to worry about, sometimes. Whether you’re actually telling me how you feel or whether you’re just pandering to my feelings. My feelings are that I want to know how you feel, alright?”

Linza grinned wryly. “I wish I knew how I felt.”

“I think you would if you’d stop drowning it out with how you think you should feel.”

“I feel personally attacked.”

“Good, I am personally attacking you.”

Ugh, fine. I just don’t know what to do next.”

“You’re gonna eat this dinner I put in front of you that you hardly touched. And then you’re going to go home and get a whole night of sleep because you get so much grumpier than you realize. And then you’re gonna go walk on the beach or paint with only blue or cut off all your hair or do something moody until you finally hear whatever inside of you is screaming how you feel, mkay?”

“Okay, okay. You’re right. But for the umpteenth time, I’m not cutting off all my hair,” Linza said.

“Just a trim?”

“No!”

“But you’d look so good with it short.”

“Nope.”

“C’monnnn!”

“I thought I was supposed to listen to my feelings!”

“Just for those other things. This is different, because I’m right this time.” Wyn smirked.

“You are insufferable.”

“I love you too, Linz.”

Linz rolled her eyes and shook her head. “What did I ever do to deserve you?”

“You tell a mean dad joke and you look rad in an oversized sweater, what can I say?”

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